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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 3, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EST

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rants. krystal ball, thank you so much. thankso everybody who has been joining us since this 30 million jobs tour has undertaken. as many of you know, i'm no fan of this up to. however, that's wrong. this town is central to what we do and it is for us to apply the pressure not to reject or abandon it, but to engage it. i'm delighted to have the privilege of doing so with you and with them. i am dylan ratigan, i look forward to seeing you monday in new york. we're off to texas for the back half of next week. "hardball" kicks off right now. the economy picks up. will it last? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, digging deeper. mitt romney insists he misspoke when he said he's not concerned about the very poor. if that's the case, why did he defend the statement when he got
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challenge challenged. and why did he double down? so maybe mitt said precisely what he meant. he doesn't intend to think about the worst off in in this country. plus you can just imagine how republicans' hopes dropped when they heard that 243,000 new jobs were created last month. the unemployment rate dropped down to 8.3%. it's good for american workers at 8.3%. and for president obama. but the president still facing head winds from europe. from a shutdown of middle east oil perhaps. and also from a jamming congress on the jobs front. also the susan g. komen foundation decided to stop the bleeding fast. they reversed itself and decide not to cut off funding for planned parenthood. it's a big example of what a hot button issue abortion remains in this country. here's something that could have an effect on the election.
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an israeli air strike on bomb making facilities. the whispers are getting louder now. and john mccain lived through that 2008 election. how much does he want to relive it by seeing the movie "game change"? not so much. we start with the race for nevada. mitt romney saying he now misspoke when he said he wasn't concerned about the very poor. bob ur lick is the former governor of maryland and now the maryland campaign chairman for mitt romney. sue, thank you for joining us. we have a new las vegas review poll out now of likely caucus goers tomorrow. mitt romney leads by 20 points. there you see it with santorum and ron paul trailing far behind. sue, everybody that i talked to
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the experts on this election and no more than me some of them, that this is all about speaker gingrich getting through february. it's going to be a tough month for him. but march he could have big victories in the south where he did so well in the panhandle of florida. is that the game plan? get through february and have a march madness a month later? >> i would think that would be the game plan. here in nevada, the delegates are proportionate. if you win, place, or show you're going to walk away with delegates. it's nice to win, but if you come in second or third, you will walk away with a pocket full of delegates. >> how do you think he'll do at least your candidate? looking like 25% right now. you have a large lds population that helps governor romney. that's understandable. he's got an organization out there. how is the newt gingrich organization tomorrow in nevada? >> we're a grass roots
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organization to tell you the truth, chris. governor romney and congressman paul have been campaigning here for five years. they are very organized. i'm pleasantly surprised and happy that the speaker is coming in second in the polls because i would have thought it would have been ron paul. >> me too. here's romney's original statement about the poor wednesday morning in an interview on cnn. this is what caused him to have a bad end of week. let's watch. >> i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor. we have a safety net there. i'm not concerned about the very rich. they are doing just fine. i'm concern about the heart of america. the 95% of americans who right now are struggling. >> there are lots of poor americans who are struggling who would say that sounds odd. can you explain that? >> you had had to finish the
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sentence. i'm said i'm not concerned about the poor that has a safety net, but if it has a hole, i will repair it. you will hear the plight of the poor. there's no question, it's not good being poor. we have a safety net for them. but my campaign is focused on middle-income americans. you can choose where to focus. you can focus on the rich. that's not my focus. you can focus on the very poor. that's not my focus. >> did you ever watch a man in quick sand? here he is explaining it later on that day. >> you've got to take the whole sentence, all right, as opposed to saying, and then change it. i said during the campaign. my concern and energy is going to be devoted to helping middle-income people. >> here he is last night with jon ralston. let's watch this. >> jon, it was a misstatement.
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i misspoke. when you do how many thousands of interviews, now and then, you may get it wrong. i misspoke. >> thank you for joining us on "hardball." his original statements, context is important. i don't want to be unfair. listen to what he had to say. i'm in this race because i care about americans. i'm not concerned about the very poor. i'm concerned about americans. what does that mean? >> he made a mistake. people make mistakes. this high school game. you heard what he had to say. he meant all americans obviously. people make mistakes. this middle school game of he said she said. that's why people get turned off on politics. that's why people turn their tvs
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off. people make mistakes. as you heard, he's a human guy. they are tired. you have been through this. you know it. it's hour to hour. >> so you want to see the full context? let's look at it in context. here its in the context of the kind of statements he's been making off the cuff. when you don't see the teleprompter, these are the kinds of comments. let's look at them. >> i should tell my story. i'm also unemployed. i could raise taxes on people. corporations are people, my friend. i'll tell you what. $10,000? $10,000 bet? >> i'm not in the betting business. >> i know what it's like to worry whether your going to get fired. there was a couple times i wonder if i was going to get a pink slip?
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if you don't like what they do, you can fire them. i like to be able to fire people that provide services to me. i'm not concerned about the very rich or the very poor. >> were all those misspoken? >> we fixed the safety net when it's broken. he's worried about the working poor and middle class and people who have really been hit by obama policies over the last four years. i suspect speaker gingrich would agree with those comments as well. the very poor have that safety net. the working poor do not. with regard, if the net is broken, he said we would fix it. you can't just do this gotcha game. everybody does it right and left. but i don't think it's very fair. >> so you don't see -- governor earl lick, would you go around saying corporations are people too? would you make comments like
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this over and over again? >> corporations hire people. we want healthy corporations. >> they fire people. >> i want more corporations to exist in this country. i want entrepreneurs to start corporatio corporations. that's what he meant. that's defined his entire life. >> he never said i liked being able to hire people. >> finish the sentence. people who are not serving his needs. the consumers' needs. i remember when speaker gingrich, and you talked about medicare dying on the vine when i was in congress. i was on your show. you just can't take these simple phrases out of context. you have to complete the sentence. the health of corporations and job creation. >> but governor, this is a guy
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who has money in the cayman islands. it is context yule. the words fit the man. the way he talks about firing people, corporations being people too, betting $10,000, he does come off as an elitist. >> what about the charitable contributions? >> he makes $20 million a year. >> the president makes a lot of money. joe biden makes a lot of money. you don't see those dollars from them do you? >> i think biden makes about 10% of what the other guy makes. let me go back to sue. what does newt gingrich have as a candidate for president? i was surprised to hear you. you're sort of a moderate republican. i don't want to get you in trouble out there. how about mainstream republican? i thought he was wild for you. why do you like gingrich over mitt romney? >> you know, i remember, chris,
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in the '90s when the speaker led the charge for the republican revolution. when the speaker was an integral part of balancing the budget, which we haven't had since he was there. when the speaker was a big part of welfare reform. i know he can reach across the aisle and work with democrats. he's already proven himself as a leader in that regard. and i think he can do it again. >> well thank you very much, sue louden. the person who could have beaten harry reid. and bob ehrlich. >> a strong jobs report gives president obama a big boost. unemployment dropped to its lowest point in three years today. and look at the dow. the dow is at its highest point since before we got under big trouble under president bush. you're watching "hardball" on
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i want to send a clear message to congress. do not slow down the recovery that we're on. don't muck it up. >> boy, that's a telling comment from the president. a warning to the republicans on the hill. don't muck it up from the president. that was president obama earlier today responding to a strong jobs report. the labor department reported today that 243,000 jobs were created in january. the most in nine months. the unemployment rate dropped down to 8.3%, its lowest point in three years. the job report spurred the dow. it's now at its highest level since before the bush disaster of 2008, the financial crisis. this all good news for the president. but he still faces serious political head winds. first, let's go through the good news. joining me is joe williams and msnbc analyst david corn. gentlemen, quickly, you're both political analysts. joe, is this good news or is it
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quick silver? too good too soon? >> the good news is -- >> i hate to be irish about it. my mother said the worst. she was either right or half wrong. >> certainly, there's a dark cloud around the silver lining. unemployment is down. things look good. anything can happen. already we have seen signs in the middle east where the strait of hormuz situation could tick prices up. >> that's what screwed carter. >> it's going to be about 8.8 by the end of the year. it looks like they may finish ahead of that. it maintain around mid-8s. >> you're fearful of a second dip? >> nobody can control that.
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>> let's get to politics. the president, let's hope they don't muck it up. is he laying down the predicate if they don't pass something to put back the guys coming back from the war, put in the work, if they don't do what he tells them to do, is he laying down the predicate for you guys blew it. >> he's trying to make sure that congress is on notice. something needs to get done. something needs to shift the unemployment for the good of everybody. not just for the good of the president's prospects. but it's a marker and he intends on following through. >> 8.3. if he keeps it that low, he probably gets reelected. he can't take the hit. >> what's the big fight coming up? the payroll tax extension. >> is there a chance they will deny that? >> listen, the tea party wing of the republican party, which has been whipping the leader, house speaker boehner, doesn't want to
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extend this stuff. they don't like it. they don't believe if you give tax breaks to the middle class it helps the economy. they call it the job creators. >> that sounds slanted. how can they not believe in tax cuts? >> they have said this. >> is this your joke? they don't think lower costs of labor, which is what we're talking about is healthy for hiring people? >> that's what the president is talking about. don't muck it up. this is the fight coming up. if you look at the cbo report, it assumed that there wasn't an extension of the payroll tax. if you extend it, you bring the unemployment down even more. >> so we're still looking at an 8.3% unemployment rate for january. fabulous news. the dow through the roof. back to where it was before bush screwed things up.
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let's look at obama inheriting a troubled economy. take a look at this chart. it shows job losses under president bush. look at the red. and shown here president obama, the chart turns blue. it begins to show reverse. the job loss has become job gain. we all learn to read the graphs in school. the stuff above means it's shooting up positive. a bloomberg report released earlier this week shows the economies of michigan, indiana, ohio, and pennsylvania have impro improved faster than the the rest of the country since the recession began in april of 2009 until the end of 2011. some of those states are the orb kosh carter. that sensitive part of the country. people depend on the accordion industries. they hire and lay off and lay off and hire. everybody is sensitive.
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>> there are two things that come to mind. the first is david is right there or going to try to get something passed for the payroll tax extension. what sort is interesting about that graph is ohio, indiana, right to work states. they are having fights with labor. wisconsin, same thing. what that fight is going to have, and whether or not the governor wins and there's going to be a right to work legislation that will limit union bargaining and restrict the ability to get a wage that they believe is fair could have an impact on hiring as well. it just depends. >> ironically, there's a better situation for organized labor mean less hiring or more hiring? >> a stronger situation for organized labor means more hiring in broad theory. you get organized people manufacturing takes off, wages go up, everybody wins. but in a situation where you have restricted labor ability, manufacturers and producers tend to want to hire more, but the
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wage tops out. >> but in wisconsin, there's the recall fight going on over the next few months. you see a lot of this is driven by steel, which pays good. >> despite all the right wing argument that the government is hiring and there's more and more panic and jobs in the government, the fact is private-sector jobs have been going up and up and up as we saw in that chart under president obama. and the decline has been state and local. everybody hopes business can create jobs. the local state governments are so starved they are laying people off. >> the president called for spending in the congress that didn't want to do any spending and go along with that. the states are hurting. the choices are cut or tax. >> who are they cutting? a lot of states they have to cut teachers. you cut teachers, what happens? you don't have kids learning as
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we well. it hurts future prospects. >> nobody knows this. the local and state are firing people. that's what's causing the lag in the economy. >> part of the jobs plan was to prevent that from happening and put money into the states and the republicans said no. >> the money they poured into places like scranton, the money has run out. have a good weekend. good economics out there. coming up, we'll talk about "the game change." his name is john mccain. stick around for the side show. [ jody ] four course feast. man it's great. the guests love it.
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i'm jody gonzalez, red lobster manager and i sea food differently. back to "hardball." now for the sideshow. marking the calendar, earlier this week we got a peek at the new movie "game change" which is
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based on the 2008 presidential election. sarah palin is at the center of the story, but what's the real subjects think about the premier? it depends who you ask. let's get the low down from john mccain, who was asked about the movie yesterday by andrew ross. >> i'm curious if you had an opportunity to see ed harris playing you. >> it will be a cold day in arizona when i watch that movie. >> fair enough. thanks. >> i guess the joyride with sarah palin is something he would rather experience just once. next up, time to make a move. it would be a dream come true to have mitch daniels jump in the republican presidential race. the ship sailed on that one, but an endorsement from daniels could provide backing for the candidates. is he starting to lean towards a candidates? let's hear how he took on the question yesterday. >> who are you endorsing for president on the gop side?
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>> i'm for all of them. i'm rooting for them all to do a good job and continue a spiri d ed competition. >> everybody wanted you to run. they wanted your endorsement. >> now that donald trump has spoken, i guess it's over. >> there's one way to dodge the question. would romney trade trump for mitch daniels? you betcha. who do you think was clapping the loudest when donald trump and mitt romney took to the podium? the obama campaign. here's a portion of an e-mail from earlier today. "yesterday mitt romney said he was humbled to accept donald trump's endorsement. mitt romney is his guy. mitt romney embraced him without reservation." as if we needed a reminder of his almost candidacy. and there are a few super
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bowl bets going on in congress. here's one that involves the senators. this one is between chuck schumer and jeanne cha heen of new hampshire. it's a type of beer. let's hear them discussing the wager earlier today. >> we think we brew a lot of really wonderful beer in new hampshire. and so we're delighted with the idea that senator schumer is going to pay for that beer to treat all of the senators when the patriots win on sunday. >> we have brooklyn beer. we have browns in troy. saranac. when the giants beat the patriots, jeanne is going to be nice enough to serve those beers to all the senate and they will start buying them and it will help jobs in new york. >> they thought these corn ball bets between politicians, but i think it's time to please retire them. up next, susan g. komen
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foundation ree verses their decision. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball" on msnbc.
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i'm sue herera with your market wrap. the dow gained 157 points. and the s&p rose 19 points. the nasdaq added 46. that's an 11-year high. the big story is the jobs report. 243,000 jobs were created last month. 100,000 more than wall street expected. but on another note, a sad day over at myokron technology. steve appleton was killed in a small plane crash. he survived a previous crash in 2004. it's expected that one of his
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directors will e remain on the board. that's it from cnbc. first in business worldwide. now back to chris and "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." after a firestorm erupted this week, susan g. komen apologized and back ed off their plans to not providing to planned parenthood. in a statement, nancy brinker said "we want to apologize to the american public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commit mement to our missiof saving women's lives. our original desire was to fulfill fiduciary obligations. we will mend the criteria to
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make clear it must be criminal and conclusive in nature. we will continue to fund existing grants including those to planned parenthood while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make decision that meet the needs of our communities." what was the words behind that news? andrea mitchell has been on the story. she's our chief foreign affairs correspondent. we e also have joining us senator barbara boxer, who is a democrat from california and very much involved in this dispute. let me start with andrea. it seems to me they were under some pressure, i don't know where it came from, to make the decision to no longer fund women. it's a comparable place to go. it's like a clinic. it's a real public service. for them to drop their support
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for that because some congressman is messing around with them with some kind of hearings is a thin reading. >> it would make the case it's a real investigation. that's what critics said. there were also suggestions people closer to the komen foundations that there was other state investigations. and then when nancy brinker came and talked to e me yesterday on the program, she came with another explanation, which is they wanted direct referrals. . they had a credibility problem and i think it's wise that they apologized and reversed themselves so quickly. >> nancy brinker said yesterday she was upset over the questions of this was a political decision. let's listen to her. >> i'm troubled that it's been labeled as political. this is not a political decision. we operate from one set of standards every day. and it is to our mission. if we don't advance and revise
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and make grants that meet the mission and bring real care to vulnerable populations, we won't be doing our job. >> senator boxer, what were the pressures coming from the pro-choice people that seemed to reverse this it decision overnight? >> can i just say, pro-choice, not pro-choice, this is about screenings for breast cancer. there's no room for politics in this at all. and we all know we face attacks on a women's right to choose. it has nothing to do with that. and i had the privilege of being on andrea's show yesterday and today. i made the point that this is the tip of the iceburg of the right wing. going after women's health. they are even going after birth control. and i thought that all was resolved in the '60s. so we -- we are very happy. we in the united states senate
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who sent the letter who said to the komen people, please reconsider this. and they did, and i'm very pleased that they did. >> well the question still, we don't really know what pressures or politics played the hand in bringing nancy to say we're not going to do business on breast cancer screening with planned parenthood. we don't know. >> i personally do not know. >> go ahead, senator. >> what do you think is behind the decision to cause the uproar? >> i think we can surmise that there was far right pressure on komen to drop all support for planned parenthood and stop those grants. there's no other explanation. they did say that very first day "under investigation."
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anyone who knows these are political in nature. we know that there are members of the house and the senate who tried very hard to destroy planned parenthood. in the last budget, we were able to stop it in the senate. i think we know it is political. but the people out there who -- who looked at this got really disturbed about it. they rose up on the social media. men and women of good will. different political parties, and they said stop it. you have to separate your politics from the need to find a cure for breast cancer and prevent it. >> andrea, yesterday you interviewed michael bloomberg. i love the way he handled this. he offered a matching gift donation of $250,000 to planned parenthood. he said politics should not be a play. let's watch the mayor for a minute. >> i think health care is at the
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top of the list of things we have to worry about. i don't think politics should enter it. i don't know what got the komen foundation to make the decision. i'm glad they reversed it. but the bottom line is planned parenthood is an organization that was providing a great service in terms of screening for breast cancer and they do a lot of other things as well. i no idea why the foundation did what they did or why they reversed it. i'm just glad they came to the right decision. they will continue to fund planned parenthood. i will continue to support both orgs organizations. i would urge everyone to do the same. >> the race for the cure goes on every year. all these people out there. they painted a bridge in palm beach pink. is that going to revive and come back after all this? >> i think there's some damage that has to be repaired, but i think that the institution decades of participation by men,
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women, children, survivors, and supporters alike just has to go on. this is a global organization now. and we have seen the first susan g. komen race for the cure around the old city of jerusalem with arab women running together. and the mayor of jerusalem running in the race. there's a vibrant community here. the social network media certainly proved that that is instand tanous and passionate. one of the reasons it's so passionate. when you run in one of these races and thinking about people you lost, now i'm thinking about myself, but more about the community and about children. >> you're allowed to have emotion. >> is this going to be okay for the race for the cure? >> i think everyone is going to come together after this. it was a lesson for everyone.
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and we have to take politics and take it out of this. because, you know, republicans and democrats and independents, every one of us whether we vote or don't vote, pro-choice or not, we know someone who has been touched deeply by this. i sit here and i think about andrea, and i think about the wife of my friend harry reid who is going through this now. and i can say, we have to work together. period. and i think what happened with this apology was a recognition that we won't find a cure if we start fighting over things. let's just work together. let's get this done. >> great strong words there from senator barbara boxer. thank you, senator. and thank you, andrea mitchell. next is israel planning to attack iran as early as this
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spring? we'll get the latest report. and what role we might play. this is "hardball" on msnbc. juice drink too watery? ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for excellent fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion, also refreshing plus tea. could've had a v8. we asked him to be part of an experiment to prove that febreze air effects can eliminate tough cooking odors. [ moderator ] take a deep breath and then tell me what you smell. wow. it takes you kinda to like an island. like a paradise. [ sniffs ] vanilla. [ sniffs ] i smell caramel, like a caramel candy. [ moderator ] go ahead and take your blindfold off. ah man. ♪ [ laughs ] wow man! [ laughs ]
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[ male announcer ] eliminate tough odors with febreze air effects so you can breathe happy guaranteed. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could switchgrass in argentina, change engineering in dubai, aluminum production in south africa, and the aerospace industry in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. we saw how mitt romney is back pedaling from his comment he's not concerned about the very poor. a lot of lower-income republicans didn't appreciate his comment. according to a recent poll, six in ten republicans whose family incomes are below $30,000 a year
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say the government doesn't do enough to help the poor. they want the government to do more and they are republicans. compare that with those who make over 70,000 a year. a fifth say the government do that. big surprise there is. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] this is not a prescription. this is mary... who has a million things to pick up each month on top of her prescriptions. so she was thrilled that her walgreens pharmacist recommended a 3-month supply and would always be there to answer questions about her health. now mary gets 3 refills in one and for 3 months, she's done. more or less. ask your pharmacist about a 90 day supply today. walgreens. there's a way to stay well.
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launch an attack this spring. the news comes as leaders and some of their bluntist language said the window of opportunity to slow down iran's nuclear program is narrowing. in other words, getting short. what would a strike on iran mean for the u.s.? richard angle is the chief corresponde correspondent. he has a new fascinating book called "strategic vision" about the united states role in the world and whether our power and influences on the decline or not, we'll talk to him about that. let's start with the situation out there. what's new, richard, about the prospects for an attack by israel on the iranian nuclear facilities? >> what's new is that the israelis do feel their window to operate is shrinking.
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that the iranians are working on their program, making progress every month, and they could reach a point of no return. a point at which it is no longer possible for an israeli air strike, missile strike, to slow down the program in any kind of effective way. and according to what is playing out right now, it seems that washington, particularly defense secretary panetta, saw this as a real possibility and took this unusual step of making public statements through david i guess nay house is to signal to the israelis to say don't do this. don't break up a consensus around the world that has been formed against iran and give this more time. we're seeing some pushback from the israelis saying, yes, fine, we will give it a little more time. but we can't wait forever. >> second question to you. is israel concerned not that they are going to build a
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launching pllaunch ing platform, but they could build a bomb itself and deliver it by all kinds of means? >> israel thinks, according to officials we have been speaking with here, that it would take i to have some sort of weapon, two to three years to have an arsenal. and they are worried that once israel -- once iran has a weapon, that calculations, even domestic calculations in this country will be significantly different. will israel be able to operate as freely in gaza? will it be limited by hezbollah knowing that iran has even a rudimentary-style weapon, one that is no longer able to reach. so israel doesn't want to get to that point where it is always have to worry about iran having a weapon, this threat hanging over it. iran, of course, says that its weapons program is peaceful,
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that no decision has been taken to create a weapon and points out that israel, in fact, does have nuclear weapons. >> we know that, yeah. >> let me go to dr. brzezinski about this strategic question. is there something that could be worse than iran having a weapon? when you make the calculations on consequence is there any way you would decide, well, all right. we can live with a nuclear weapon in the hands of the iranians because it's better than -- >> the answer is very simple, war, because it's very easy to start a war. it's very difficult to end it on your own terms and it tends to bruce unforeseen consequences. we have an enormous nuclear deterrent. the notion that somehow or other the iranians who have existed for 3,000 years are going to commit public suicide the first moment they have a bomb is really ludicrous. gary sec has produced a list since 1994 of annual israeli
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predictions that next year iran will have the bomb. so i think we can take their predictions with a little bit of caution. moreover, their public opinion is not for a strike. majority of american jews are not for a strike. they are being sensible. i think we're dealing here with a right wing government with rather one-sided notions of what security is and perhaps with a somewhat irresponsible attitude about the consequences of their actions for us because the iranians if attacked, are not going to retaliate effectively against israel because they cannot. they'll retaliate against us because they'll see us as the sponsors. so our troops in afghanistan would pay the price. and our disengagement may become very difficult to pursue. we'll have a mess in iraq again. there could be difficulties in the persian gulf. the price of oil could go up. the global economy could be hurt. american taxpayers would pay 5
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bucks per gallon. >> but dr. brzezinski, can israel survive if it's known by its own people and future immigrants to israel that they are going into a country that's under a basically firing zone from iran. that any moment one of the mullahs could decide to attack. maybe irrationally. >> we live in that situation for several decades. with an enemy who could wipe out much of america in a few minutes. they don't have the bomb yet. we're negotiating with them. i think part of the israeli concerns is that we may make an arrangement with the iranians that doesn't humiliate them and doesn't force them to capitulate totally. >> let's talk about that when we come back. richard engel, hang on there. dr. brzezinski is staying with us. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. ♪ [ woman ] when i grow up, i want to take him on his first flight.
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we're back. let's go back to tel aviv and nbc's foreign correspondent -- chief foreign correspondent richard engel. we have joining us zbigniew brzezinski, author of the new book "strategic vision." we were just talking to dr. brzezinski. what is israeli public opinion? where is it on whether to strike or not to strike iran and its nuclear facilities? >> israelis are divided on this. it's not that everyone is clamoring for a military action. i was in an israeli home today. people were cleaning out their
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bomb shelter making sure that it's ready, that the gas masks are available and in working order. and i spoke to the owner of the house. he was there with his children. he doesn't think it's a good idea that there are too many unknown consequences and that even if israel or iran were to get a new clear weapon, what is it going to do with it? would it fire on to israel? israel would cease to exist a short while later. there's also a debate within the israeli intelligence community about whether the -- this threat is really as high as people think it is. with the top political leaders focused on iran, but the cadre in the israeli intelligence service, the rank and file saying the real threat comes from the neighbors. specifically egypt and potential future problems in jordan. >> let's talk u.s. policy. we're talking israeli policy. what's in the u.s. interest? >> i think in the u.s. interest it is absolutely imperative that israel be secure but in a middle east which is not at war.
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we can accomplish that. we can issue a public statement that any threat by iran against any state in the middle east will be viewed as a threat against us. that in itself would be a very major deterrent. and i think we can at the same time continue negotiating with iranians, perhaps about some arrangement in which they'll continue their nuclear program but under effective international inspection. and some progress is moving in that direction. >> how do you save their pride? >> by agreeing to them having a nuclear program and -- >> it's not weaponized? >> it's not weaponized. enrichment is not up to a certain level that it really represents a danger. but it is -- >> what does israel get out of that deal? do they get a year or two or three years of safety? >> if they have a -- >> safety margin. >> if they have a guarantee from the united states, they have as much safety as western europe or as japan or as south korea. i think we have to be forthright and our president and our


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